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Monday, January 9, 2012

Parking Lot Injuries Are Compensable

      Injuries occurring  in parking lots are in many instances compensable. A lot depends on who controls parking in the lot and/or whether or not the employer directs the employee to park in a specific location.

      The legal theory that is the basis for determining who is responsible is whether the injury occurs in the course of the employment and arises out of the employment. When the employer owns the property and the employee becomes injured while going to and from his or her vehicle, the accident is usually deemed to have occurred at work and is compensable.

       The situation becomes more complicated when the employee is involved in an accident in a parking lot not owned or controlled by the employer. In those instances the courts traditionally look to whether the employer directed where the employee should park or how the employee should park his or her vehicle.

       Because the courts have held that the employer's parking lot is part of the employment premises and an employee entering or using the lot is in the course of employment, an employee injured when struck by an automobile driven by a co-employee was not able to sue the co-employee for negligence; the sole remedy was in the workers' compensation arena.  Konitch v. Hartung, 81 N.J.Super. 376, 195 A.2d 649 (App.Div.1963), certif. denied 41 N.J. 389, 197 A.2d 15 (1964).

       If the employee directs that the employee utilize a specific parking lot or a common area in a commonly owned parking lot, then the injures that occur in the parking are considered arising out of and in the course of employment and are considered compensable.
For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman  1.973.696.7900 have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses. 

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